Stage Set for Eighth Annual Open House

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Thousands of RVs line the corridor of the RV/MH Hall of Fame grounds and the surrounding area today as an expected 4,000 dealers, manufacturers and suppliers arrive in Elkhart on the eve of the eighth annual Elkhart Open House.

The event, taking place for the eighth consecutive year, officially begins Tuesday (Sept. 22) and concludes Thursday (Sept. 24).

Now in its eighth season, the Open House list of displays keeps getting bigger. This year, several suppliers have joined the gathering, hoping to capitalize on one of the industry’s largest gatherings.

Lippert, for example, will host tours of its recently remodeled South Bend facility today through Friday, and TRA Certification will showcase several units, hoping to educate manufacturers as well as dealers on the merits of the company’s green certification standards.

Eight other supplier brands joined this year to form the first Supplier Showcase. Thetford, BAL RV Products, Norcold, Equal-i-zer, Torklift, Demco, Fastway and Winegard will host a display at BAL/Norco’s facility at 3050 County Road 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning Tuesday and concluding Thursday.

Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries, gave full credit to Forest River Inc. for envisioning the event, when he spoke with the Elkhart Truth recently.

Thor has been setting up its displays at the RV Hall of Fame over the last four years.

In preparation for this year’s Open House, Thor brought more than 500 units from all its different subsidiaries. The company is expecting about 2,000 dealers from all over North America.

By comparison, Thor takes about 200 units to the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., the largest show hosted by the RV Industry Association, the Truth reported.

Martin said that’s because their setup location in Elkhart is much larger and they don’t have to move the units as a far as they would for Louisville.

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